Bwala: Unnecessary For EFCC To Look For Yahaya Bello, It Should Wait For Court Ruling 

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, lawyer Daniel Bwala said that recent court proceedings suggest that it is unnecessary for the EFCC to continue seeking Yahaya Bello. Instead, they should await the court’s ruling, adding that any attempt by the EFCC to arrest him would violate due process, as parties have submitted to the court’s jurisdiction.

“The import of what transpired in court based on these facts now is that it is superfluous for EFCC to be looking for Yahaya Bello. The EFCC is just to wait and come that day to hear the ruling. If the ruling invalidates the arrest warrant, then fine. If it does not, then Yahaya Bello on that day in any case will appear before the court and now be arraigned before the court. What it means is that any day after yesterday or two days ago, any effort by EFCC to attempt to arrest Yahaya Bello now amounts to violating the due process of law where parties have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court, you have to allow the court to run proceedings and you cannot run the proceedings for the court. These are matters of law.”

He also questioned the EFCC’s objectives, reasoning on the fact that despite Yahaya Bello being shielded by an outstanding order preventing his arrest and prosecution, the EFCC contests the validity of this order, a matter yet to be adjudicated by the court.

“The question now is, what is EFCC trying to achieve? Yahaya Bello has an order that has not been set aside. The order says that he should not be arrested, he should not be prosecuted. The EFCC does not believe that order should be sustained. EFCC challenged that order. That challenge has not been determined by court. Attempting to arrest him when that has not been determined, what is the interpretation of that in the court of law? They also have another order to arrest him and that order to arrest him has now been brought before a court in which a counter argument was made and court adjourned for ruling. What is the import of that? So you have a coalition of judicial voices and these courts that have given the various orders are courts of coordinate jurisdiction in which each other’s decision does not bind the other.”

Bwala highlighted that the EFCC’s actions, particularly their media leaks, inadvertently provide grounds for individuals like Yahaya Bello to argue that their rights are under threat and offer an opportunity to exploit the situation, adding that recent statements made by the prosecution in the media may have been orchestrated to provide Yahaya Bello with an escape route.

“The constitution says anybody who feels his right is violated, is about to be violated, that is you just think that your right is about to be violated, it said the person can approach the court to seek the protection of his fundamental right. That “about to be violated” is subject to circumstances, factual affidavit, evidence which the court will look at. EFCC provided the material for him to do that through their various media hints, media leaking and media information.

“When you keep leaking to the media because you want the media to know you’re doing great, you have created the facts of his right that are about to be violated. I have not yet seen a defendant who will see an opportunity like that and will not take advantage of it.

“If you give a forensic analysis of what he said in the press yesterday, a right thinking member of the society would say this was a planned script to give Yahaya Bello an escape route.”

Melissa Enoch

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